President Barack Obama raised anew the issue of cutting entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security as a way out of damaging budget cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, as both sides in Washington tried to limit a fiscal crisis that may soon hit millions of Americans.
Signaling he might be ready to explore a compromise to end automatic spending cuts that began late Friday, Obama mentioned reforming these entitlement programs in calls with lawmakers from both parties on Saturday afternoon.
Republicans have long argued that the only way to tame budget deficits over the long haul is by slowing the cost of sprawling social safety net programs.
These include the Social Security retirement program and Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs for the elderly, disabled and poor that are becoming more expensive as a large segment of the U.S. population hits retirement age.
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